x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Champions League round-up: time to learn players names, says Mancini

After 2-2 draw, Roberto Mancini says it is time to get acquainted at his new club while Torres is ruled out for three weeks.

Roberto Mancini was all praise for Didier Drogba's efforts. Claudio Villa / Getty Images
Roberto Mancini was all praise for Didier Drogba's efforts. Claudio Villa / Getty Images

The new Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini will finally have a chance to get to know his players after his team’s 2-2 Uefa Champions League draw with Juventus.

The former Manchester City manager was thrown in at the deep end after taking charge only two days before Wednesday’s match in Turin.

“At the moment, I don’t even know the names of my players,” Mancini, appointed to replace Fatih Terim who was sacked last week by the Turkish champions, told reporters.

“I couldn’t do much in two days apart from giving some logic to the team. Now I need to get to know them.”

Mancini said he was knocked back by the performance of Didier Drogba, 35, who scored the first goal and set up the late equaliser.

“Drogba has been incredible,” he said. “I didn’t expect a performance like that. He played alone in attack, in the home of Juventus; extraordinary.”

He added: “In the first half we played well, but physically we struggled in the second. I don’t think Juventus are at their best at the moment, although they could be soon, it’s not unusual.”

Mancini had been out of a job since being dismissed by the English club in May after his team were shocked by Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final and gave up their Premier League crown to Manchester United without much of a fight.

He spent three-and-half years at the Etihad Stadium, leading City to the Premier League title in 2012 and the FA Cup the previous year, bringing an end to the club’s 35-year trophy drought.

BAYERN MUNICH IN A HURRY

Bayern Munich were basking in the afterglow of a stunning 3-1 win over Manchester City that put the holders well on course for early qualification into this season’s knockout stage.

The dominant Bavarians made a mockery of pre-match predictions of a close encounter took a 3-0 lead before taking their foot off the gas and conceded a late consolation goal.

“For about 80 minutes we played an almost perfect game,” club president Uli Hoeness told reporters.

“I cannot remember ever having so much possession or having played such unbelievable football in an away game against such a big-name opponent. I can only congratulate the team. What they offered was summa cum laude (with highest honour).”

Arjen Robben, who chipped in with the third to seal the tally, said, “We certainly never imagined such a game.

“A huge compliment to the team. We used the spaces so well and there were some attacks from us that were just super.”

ROONEY SHOULD BE FINE

Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed Wayne Rooney will be fit for England’s crucial World Cup double header against Montenegro and Poland.

Rooney missed Wednesday night’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk after suffering a kick on his shin by Danny Welbeck in training on Tuesday.

With Roy Hodgson due to name his squad later today for the games that will determine whether his side make it to the Finals in Brazil next year, it must have been a worry.

However, those fears have already been dispelled, with Moyes confirming he expects Rooney to be available for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Sunderland.

“Wayne Rooney will be okay for Saturday,” said Moyes. “He clashed shins with Danny Welbeck (in training).

“At a push we probably could have risked him but we decided not to.”

TORRES OUT FOR THREE WEEKS

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres faces a race against time to return to action following the international break after the club confirmed he will miss three weeks due to a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee.

The Spaniard limped out of Tuesday’s Champions League group game at Steaua Bucharest and the extent of the damage has now been revealed.

Jose Mourinho said, “It’s something in his knee, his ligament, and we have to wait for the scan. The doctor is very confident it’s not a big injury, like we had with Marco van Ginkel (who is out for six months).

“He knows that he doesn’t play against Norwich. He knows that he cannot go to the national team.

“He knows he has 15 days until the next match he can play, which is against Cardiff.

“Let’s see the scan. If the injury is an injury for 15 days, I think he’ll be fine. That’s okay.